LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture has lifted bovine tuberculosis restrictions in two eastern New Mexico counties, making the entire state bovine TB free.
State officials say the agency's action in Curry and Roosevelt counties relieves a serious burden on New Mexico's producers and their communities.
For the past two years, the restrictions meant additional testing costs for producers. The restrictions also contributed, in part, to a devalued cattle and dairy market.
New Mexico's livestock inspectors have conducted more than 200,000 bovine TB tests and have maintained a high-level monitoring system over the last few years.
New Mexico Agriculture Secretary Jeff Witte and the state Livestock Board are encouraging producers to remain diligent to protect their herds and keep bovine TB from entering the state again.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.